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9.5 - Chain Adjustment & Replacement

Follow the procedure below to make adjustments to the drive chain slack. Be sure that you are parked on a level surface and the engine is turned OFF.


  1. Loosen the rear axle nut
  2. Loosen the adjuster lock nuts on both the left and right side of the swing-arm.
  3. Turn the adjusting bolts counter-clockwise to decrease the slack or clockwise to increase the slack.
  4. Align the marks in Fig. 2 of the adjusting plate blocks with the same reference marks       on both sides of the swing-arm.
  5. Tighten the axle nut to the torque specs. Below.

65 lbs.ft – 88 N.m

  1. Recheck the chain slack and adjust it if necessary.
  2. If you chain slack is correct, turn the adjuster bolts counterclockwise until they touch the axle plate blocks lightly.
  3. Tighten the adjuster lock nuts while at the same time holding the adjuster bolts with a wrench.


Commercially prepared chain lubricants may be purchased at many motorcycle shops and should be used instead of motor oil. Chain lube or gear oil (80w or 90w) is recommended. Saturate each joint so that the lubricant penetrates the space between each surface of the link plates and rollers.

If you have been riding in extremely muddy or dusty conditions, the drive chain should be removed and cleaned before you apply lubricant. Follow the procedure below to remove and clean or replace the drive chain with a new one.


  1. Remove the chain master link retaining clip with needle nose pliers. Do not bend or twist the clip. Remove the master link and remove the drive chain.
  2. Clean the drive chain with a non-flammable solvent such as kerosene – NOT gasoline – and allow it to dry.
  3. Inspect the drive chain for possible wear or damage. Replace the drive chain if it has any damaged rollers, loose fitting links or otherwise appears unserviceable.
  4. Inspect the sprockets for wear or damage. AJ1 recommends that you replace the sprockets when you install a new drive chain.
  5. Pass the chain over the sprockets and join the ends of the chain with the master link. For ease of assembly, hold the chain ends against adjacent rear sprocket teeth while inserting the master link. Install the master link retaining clip so that the closed end of the clip will face the direction of the forward wheel rotation.
  6. Don’t forget to lubricate the chain thoroughly.

The master link is the most critical element of drive chain security. Master links are reusable, if they are in excellent condition. We recommend installing a new master link when you install a new drive chain. You may find it easier to install a new chain by connecting it to the old chain using a master link and pulling the old chain to position the new chain on the sprockets.


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Next article 9.4 - Chain Slider Inspection